Mulvaney: ‘I don’t recall’ telling staffers not to mention election security to Trump


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Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Wednesday he doesn’t recall instructing aides to keep discussions about election security off President Donald Trump’s radar, after The New York Times reported Mulvaney had said the topic "should be kept below his level.”

The Times reported that the subject of Russian election meddling was such a sensitive subject for the president that in one meeting the acting chief “made it clear that Mr. Trump still equated any public discussion of malign Russian election activity with questions about the legitimacy of his victory.”

A senior administration official told the Times that Mulvaney said discussing efforts to secure the 2020 presidential election with Trump “wasn’t a great subject and should be kept below his level.”

"I don’t recall anything along those lines happening in any meeting," Mulvaney said in a statement Wednesday, and he said the White House is Continue reading “Mulvaney: ‘I don’t recall’ telling staffers not to mention election security to Trump”

Trump offers alternate argument for citizenship question on 2020 census


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President Donald Trump wrote online Wednesday that "the American people deserve to know who is in this country," breaking with the Justice Department in its defense of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s efforts to place a citizenship question on next year’s census questionnaire.

The Commerce Department, in defending its efforts to ask everyone in the country next year if they are U.S. citizens, has said the question would be inserted at the request of the Justice Department as part of an effort to better protect voting rights. But Trump on Wednesday offered his own rationale for why the question is needed.

“The American people deserve to know who is in this Country,” he wrote in a post to Twitter. “Yesterday, the Supreme Court took up the Census Citizenship question, a really big deal. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Whether or not the citizenship question will appear on the 2020 decennial Continue reading “Trump offers alternate argument for citizenship question on 2020 census”

Steve King claims ‘better insight’ into Jesus’ suffering after congressional rebuke


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Congressman Steve King said Tuesday his that his recent ostracization by his House colleagues for defending white supremacy has made him identify with the strife a more famous leader went through some 2,000 years ago: Jesus Christ.

The exchange took place at a town hall event in Iowa, when one attendee stood up to tell the nine-term Republican that in her view, “Christianity is really being persecuted, and it’s starting right here in the United States.”

In his response, King told her that after being formally rebuked by the House and stripped of his committee assignments, he had gleaned insight into what Jesus went through before his crucifixion, referring to his House colleagues as “accusers.”

“It’s been, for all that I’ve been through, it seems even strange for me to say it, but I’m at a certain peace, and it’s because of a lot of prayers for me,” Continue reading “Steve King claims ‘better insight’ into Jesus’ suffering after congressional rebuke”

Acting DHS chief says family separation ‘not worth it’


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The interim head of the Department of Homeland Security asserted on Tuesday that the Trump administration wasn’t looking to revive its divisive policy of separating migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, telling NBC news the controversy was “not worth it” from an enforcement standpoint.

Sitting for his first interview since DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned and President Donald Trump named him acting head of the department, Kevin McAleenan defended the policy even while pledging that the president had no interest in bringing it back.

“I think the president has been clear that family separation is not on the table," McAleenan, the former Customs and Border Protection commissioner, told NBC’s Lester Holt when asked whether he would reconsider the policy, before falling back on the administration’s defense of the issue.

“And again, this was a zero-tolerance prosecution initiative that was targeted at adults violating the law,” he said. “They Continue reading “Acting DHS chief says family separation ‘not worth it’”

Fox News announces town hall with Pete Buttigieg


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Fox News will host a town hall with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, the network announced Tuesday, making him the third Democrat to sit down with the network at length.

“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace will moderate the town hall, which is set for May 19 in Claremont, N.H. Fox was slow to jump into the 2020 town hall game, hosting its first 2020 event earlier this month after ceding much of that territory to its cable rivals CNN and MSNBC, but it has rolled out events with three Democratic candidates in the past three weeks.

Buttigieg has seen his star rise in the Democratic primary recently. After officially entering the race last week, the South Bend, Ind., mayor has begun building his state operations and working to maintain his momentum in the polls.

Buttigieg’s town hall with Wallace will be Wallace’s first of the 2020 cycle. Continue reading “Fox News announces town hall with Pete Buttigieg”

Trump unleashes on the media in morning tweetstorm


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President Donald Trump went on a tear on Twitter on Tuesday morning, demanding an apology from The New York Times, complaining he doesn’t get enough credit for the economy, claiming Twitter discriminates against him and ripping into the “Radical Left Democrats.”

It was a dizzying burst from Trump, who has bounced from claiming victory after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to seeking revenge on the media, Democrats and even his own aides.

In all, Trump tweeted or retweeted more than 50 times in a 24-hour period.

The media was the primary target of Trump’s ire Tuesday morning, as he complained that he is subject to an unprecedented level of press scrutiny and lashed out at outlets from The New York Times to morning cable news shows while also taking shots at individual personalities.

“Paul Krugman, of the Fake News New York Times, has lost all credibility, Continue reading “Trump unleashes on the media in morning tweetstorm”

Moulton dings Dems right out the gate for single-payer health care push


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Newly declared presidential candidate Seth Moulton criticized his Democratic competitors Monday for pushing the idea of single-payer health care, citing what he called an imperfect experience at the Veterans Affairs.

“I think I’m the only candidate who actually gets single-payer health care,” the Massachusetts congressman said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He qualified his statement by adding that, like his 18 opponents in the 2020 primary, “I think health care is a right. I think every American should have access to good affordable health care.”

But the Iraq War veteran said his experience with single-payer health care made him hesitant to back any plan that would boot Americans off of their private insurance plans.

“I made a commitment to continue getting my own health care at the VA when I was elected to Congress. That’s single-payer, and I’ll tell you — it’s not perfect,” he Continue reading “Moulton dings Dems right out the gate for single-payer health care push”

Giuliani briefly accuses Mueller team of coming ‘close to torturing people’


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Rudy Giuliani declared on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort had been nearly “tortured” in jail as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and referred to one of Mueller’s lead prosecutors as a “hit man” before walking back both comments.

The president’s personal lawyer made the stunning off-hand accusations in attempting to undermine the credibility of the team that investigated Trump for the past two years even as he credited Mueller for finding no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia and his inconclusive ruling on obstruction of justice.

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Jake Tapper asked Giuliani to expand on why he believed the report was not credible.

“How about looking at it this way,” Giuliani responded. “People who were unfair to him, people who wrote an unfair report, people who came close to torturing people to get information and break them. Continue reading “Giuliani briefly accuses Mueller team of coming ‘close to torturing people’”

Trump allies assail Mueller report even as they defend its conclusions


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President Donald Trump’s allies fanned out in his defense on Sunday, taking a confrontational stance about the Mueller report and maintaining that even though the report did not lead to the president’s indictment, it was biased and built on a foundation of inappropriate logic and conduct.

Their combative tone, struck in a string of interviews across cable news, indicates that even as Trump and his allies have claimed exoneration, they are gearing up for another drawn-out fight. And the arguments they made previewed a line of defense as Congress prepares to pick up where Mueller left off — though Democrats continued to tread lightly on the issue of impeachment ahead of a strategizing huddle with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday.

Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani sparred with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Continue reading “Trump allies assail Mueller report even as they defend its conclusions”

Trump targets Mueller report scapegoats


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A day after claiming that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report had vindicated him, President Donald Trump was in a foul mood about Mueller’s detailed findings, lashing out at the Russia investigator and fuming about aides who cooperated with him.

Close White House advisers said they expect Trump’s hottest rage in the coming days will be directed at former White House counsel Don McGahn, a source of some of the report’s most embarrassing findings about the president. Trump angrily tweeted on Thursday that the report contained “total bullshit” from people trying to make themselves look good and harm the president.

Trump’s obvious frustration was a sign that the White House’s victory lap on the Mueller report was premature. Although Trump celebrated the fact that the report did not find a conspiracy between his 2016 campaign and the Kremlin or that he obstructed justice, Trump seemed to be blaming scapegoats for the Continue reading “Trump targets Mueller report scapegoats”

Trump revs up his Twitter activity hours before release of Mueller report


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President Donald Trump prepared for the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings on Thursday by burning up his Twitter account, insisting that Mueller’s report will exonerate him and advertising his attorney general’s press conference to discuss the report.

“The Greatest Political Hoax of all time!” he wrote in a tweet, claiming instead that there were crimes committed by investigators and his political opponents, Hillary Clinton and Democrats.

“PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” he added in a second tweet, repeating a constant refrain.

His missives came 90 minutes before his attorney general, William Barr, was set to brief the press on Mueller’s findings prior to their release to members of Congress in a redacted form.

DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said that Barr would address whether executive privilege is being invoked, the Justice Department’s interactions with the White House about the report, and how the process of redacting certain categories of information Continue reading “Trump revs up his Twitter activity hours before release of Mueller report”

Cain says he won’t withdraw from Fed consideration despite Senate objections


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Herman Cain said Wednesday that he will not withdraw his name from consideration to join the board of the Federal Reserve even though senators have already signaled that they would likely reject his nomination.

Cain, the former pizza executive and 2012 GOP presidential candidate, told the Wall Street Journal in an interview Wednesday that he is “very committed” to sticking to his potential nomination, arguing that “I happen to believe that you need some new voices on the Federal Reserve.”

Last week, no less than four GOP senators signaled they would vote against Cain’s nomination to the board of the central bank, enough that he would not have the votes to be confirmed unless he was able to win over the support of some Democrats or independents. Cain’s potential selection — Trump has yet to formally nominate him, although the president announced Cain as his pick earlier this month Continue reading “Cain says he won’t withdraw from Fed consideration despite Senate objections”

Pelosi and Schumer demand public testimony from Mueller


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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday called for special counsel Robert Mueller to testify publicly before Congress, ripping Attorney General William Barr for his “partisan handling” of the release of Mueller’s findings over the last month.

“Attorney General Barr’s regrettably partisan handling of the Mueller report, including his slanted March 24th summary letter, his irresponsible testimony before Congress last week, and his indefensible plan to spin the report in a press conference later this morning — hours before he allows the public or Congress to see it — have resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality,” they said in a statement hours before the Justice Department planned to release the report.

Pelosi and Schumer argued that public testimony was “the only way to begin restoring public trust,” demanding Mueller appear before both the House and Senate “as soon as possible. Continue reading “Pelosi and Schumer demand public testimony from Mueller”

Ivanka Trump says she passed on her father’s offer to lead World Bank


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Ivanka Trump said Wednesday she’d turned down her father’s offer to lead the World Bank, and wouldn’t reveal whether he’d approached her about any other jobs in his administration.

Trump, who serves in the White House as a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, was rumored earlier this year to be in the running for president of the global financial institution, though her father ultimately went with David Malpass, a U.S. Treasury Department official.

In a profile of his daughter published last week, the president acknowledged for the first time that he’d thought about selecting her because “she’s very good with numbers.”

But in an interview during a trip to Africa this week, Ivanka told The Associated Press that her father had in fact “asked me about that,” saying that he pitched it to her as a question.

“But I love the work that I’m doing,” she said Continue reading “Ivanka Trump says she passed on her father’s offer to lead World Bank”

Klobuchar to appear in Fox News town hall


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Fox News announced Wednesday that it will host a town hall with Sen. Amy Klobuchar next month, its second event of the nascent 2020 campaign with a Democratic presidential candidate.

The town hall is scheduled for May 8 in Milwaukee and is to be hosted by Fox anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.

News of Klobuchar’s town hall with the Trump-friendly network comes just days after Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the Minnesota senator’s opponents for the 2020 Democratic nomination, participated in well-received town hall put on by Fox News. It also comes as Democrats reach out to voters outside their typical audience in an effort to defeat President Donald Trump next year.

Sanders’ town hall on Monday was by most measures a success, drawing the most viewers for any town hall of the cycle despite airing outside prime-time hours. Sanders’ event has prompted at least three other 2020 candidates Continue reading “Klobuchar to appear in Fox News town hall”

Bill Weld: I’m in GOP primary to beat Trump, not just weaken him


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Bill Weld, the Republican former governor of Massachusetts who is mounting primary challenge to President Donald Trump, insisted Wednesday he is running to win his party’s presidential nomination, not just weaken Trump.

Weld, who ran against Trump in 2016 as the vice presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, outlined his strategy to take on the president in an interview on CNN’s “New Day." The former Massachusetts governor said his candidacy would hinge in part on winning the first in the nation New Hampshire primary, then focusing on New England and the mid-Atlantic states before doing a swing through the West and the Rust Belt.

While he acknowledged winning in the South would be “tough,” he asserted that “the rest of the country is fair game” and argued that if he was able to beat expectations or even pull off an upset win in New Hampshire it could have “a Continue reading “Bill Weld: I’m in GOP primary to beat Trump, not just weaken him”

Trump takes second whack at Fox News


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President Donald Trump took a second whack at Fox News on Tuesday, again expressing frustration that his favored network offered a platform for Sen. Bernie Sanders to connect with 2020 voters.

Without offering any evidence, Trump on Tuesday night accused Fox News of blocking his own supporters from attending the town hall the night before with Sanders.

“Many Trump Fans & Signs were outside of the @FoxNews Studio last night in the now thriving (Thank you President Trump) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for the interview with Crazy Bernie Sanders,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “Big complaints about not being let in-stuffed with Bernie supporters. What’s with @FoxNews?”

Before the event, however, Fox News anchor and town hall host Martha MacCallum spoke with The Morning Call about the event, including how the audience was picked. The Pennsylvania paper wrote, "Fox reached out to various political and local groups in the area and Continue reading “Trump takes second whack at Fox News”

Trump embraces ‘Crazy Bernie Sanders’ or ‘Sleepy Joe Biden’ as 2020 opponent


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President Donald Trump on Tuesday predicted Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden will be the last two Democrats standing in their party’s crowded 2020 primary field, debuting nicknames for both of his potential opponents.

“I believe it will be Crazy Bernie Sanders vs. Sleepy Joe Biden as the two finalists to run against maybe the best Economy in the history of our Country (and MANY other great things)!” he wrote in a tweet. “I look forward to facing whoever it may be. May God Rest Their Soul!”

The Vermont senator and the former vice president have led nearly every poll of the sprawling 2020 Democratic field, despite Biden having yet to actually enter the race. Trump has previously said he would welcome either man as his opponent next year, though he’s projected confidence he will be able to beat any candidate that Democrats nominates.

Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, Continue reading “Trump embraces ‘Crazy Bernie Sanders’ or ‘Sleepy Joe Biden’ as 2020 opponent”

Trump rolls out details for his White House Correspondents’ Dinner counter-rally


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President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced he will head to Wisconsin for the rally he’ll hold instead of attending the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

His reelection campaign rolled out details about the Green Bay, Wis., event that will take place next Saturday while much of Washington’s press corps heads to the annual journalism celebration Trump has scorned since he became president.

Though he attended the star-studded event several times before running for office, including in 2011, when he was skewered for promoting the conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the U.S., he has broken with years of tradition in not attending a single dinner since becoming president. He has instead hosted competing events with his supporters.

Several weeks ago, Trump told reporters he would again skip the event “because the dinner is so boring and so negative,” saying that “we’re going to Continue reading “Trump rolls out details for his White House Correspondents’ Dinner counter-rally”

Trump says he doesn’t regret posting edited video slamming Omar


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President Donald Trump has no regrets about posting a video that spliced together footage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with Rep. Ilhan Omar, telling a Minneapolis ABC affiliate that the congresswoman is "extremely unpatriotic and disrespectful to our country."

“She is somebody that doesn’t really understand, I think, life, real life, what it’s all about. It’s unfortunate — she’s got a way about her that’s very, very bad, I think, for our country,” he told local TV station KSTP during a visit to Minnesota on Monday.

Trump on Friday posted an edited video featuring a portion of Omar’s remarks at a Council on American-Islamic Relations event last month in which she discussed the civil liberties of Muslims in the United States, arguing the entire faith should not be judged by the actions of Islamic terrorists. Republicans have attacked Omar (D-Minn.) over her remarks at the event, specifically Continue reading “Trump says he doesn’t regret posting edited video slamming Omar”